In a recent decision, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled that it would not interfere with a lower court ruling that a female-born minor had given informed consent, at the age of 13, to take puberty blockers and receive testosterone injections.
Known as “AB” in court documents, the child is now growing facial hair, shaving, and speaking with a deeper intonation as a result of the testosterone. If AB continues with the treatment, AB will lose the ability to conceive children. Eventual full surgical “transitioning” would involve the removal of AB’s female genitals, breasts, and uterus, and “phalloplasty” to surgically construct a penis using tissue from other parts of the body.
Despite these changes, AB will never acquire the capacity to father children, and will also have lost the capacity to conceive them. AB will have a life-long dependency on testosterone, without which partial reversion and loss of masculinization would begin to occur. Born female, AB will never have all the functions of a man. This “treatment” for gender dysphoria (gender confusion) is linked to elevated rates of suicide, especially for female-to-male patients.
In its Sept. 5 ruling, the court reserved its decision on whether this treatment is in the best interests of the child, and on whether the father committed “family violence” when he attempted to persuade his child to go through puberty first and delay the decision on “transitioning” until AB is 18. The court will also rule on whether the father (and everyone else in the world) can be compelled to refer to his child using male pronouns and the child’s new male name.
AB’s father is justifiably concerned about the long-term well-being of his child, including permanent infertility, the inability to engage in a satisfying sexual relationship, and profound regret over a decision made when AB was only 13. These consequences are too grave for a child’s immature, developing mind to comprehend appropriately. AB’s mother, however, supports the treatment. AB’s parents divorced four years ago.
Mental Issues Left Untreated
Gender dysphoria, also known as gender identity disorder, is especially prevalent in adolescent females between the ages of 12 and 16. Peer-reviewed medical research links gender dysphoria to social, peer, and online factors. The “affirmation” of the non-biological gender, along with puberty blockers and opposite-sex hormones, has not been shown to resolve or even reliably assist the underlying dysphoria, or other mental issues of the patient.
This treatment may in fact aggravate underlying psychological instability. According to Dr. Quentin Van Meter and other medical experts, going through puberty naturally resolves gender dysphoria in the vast majority of gender-confused children. If children are not encouraged to pursue puberty blockers and cross-gender hormones, more than 80 percent come to accept their natural gender by the time they reach 18.
AB’s depression and suicidality were not treated before ideologically influenced psychologists, counsellors, and doctors urged AB to adopt a male name, pronouns, clothing, etc. and to begin testosterone injections. AB’s other mental health issues are still not being treated. According to evidence presented in court, the child’s “eureka moment” came from seeing a movie at the age of 11 or 12. Prior to seeing this movie, AB was not at all unhappy about being a girl.
The Supreme Court of Canada has found that minors are uniquely exploitable by visual mediums such as television, and are especially vulnerable to those who seek to influence their judgment. There is currently no regulation in Canada over the promotion of transgender theory to young and impressionable children at schools or through the internet.
Everyone knows that children lack maturity, and sometimes need to be protected from themselves. The brains of human beings are not fully developed until the age of 25. This is why the law recognizes that minors are too immature to vote, join the military, obtain tattoos and body piercings, and consume alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Impulsiveness, naivety, personal trauma or abuse, the influence of pop culture, and the desire to be popular are often in conflict with sound judgment and proper reasoning.
AB’s father, the media, and all members of the public are required by the lower court’s orders to assert that AB is male—in spite of the objective observational reality that AB is not biologically, chromosomally, or anatomically male. Forcing AB’s father (and everyone else) to refer to AB as male is compelled speech, which has been described by the Supreme Court of Canada as “totalitarian and as such alien to the tradition of free nations like Canada.” Freedom of expression, as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is supposed to protect individuals from being coerced by the state to utter words and opinions that are not their own.
As the Justice Centre, an intervener in the case, notes in its factum: “The government cannot lawfully compel parents to voice agreement and support for a treatment which a parent with good reason believes is dangerous, harmful, and against the interests of impressionable children. The state cannot compel parents to forget their daughters and remember sons in their stead. … It is beyond the power of courts to compel parents who have lovingly raised a little girl to suddenly think the girl is a boy. No arm of government can compel parents to forget the infancy of their children.”
Neither the courts nor any other arm of government should force citizens to refer to a person with words that are not freely chosen. This is especially true when the government forces a speaker to say what she or he believes to be false.
Lawyer John Carpay is president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF.ca), which intervened before the B.C. Court of Appeal in AB v. CD.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.